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IMCDA - THIS is happening.

I feel like I have heard over and over again, "oh, you have done an Ironman, {you know what to expect, what it is all about, you'll have no problem, insert your own assumption here}".

Not true.

I woke up this past Monday morning. Ironman had sent me some email, I clicked on a link, it sent me to the website and, although it was in the corner, off to the side, THIS is what I saw:
and what I thought was.... "HOLY MOLY. THIS is happening."

Yes, I know that I have been training for this for 8 months, so it would only seem logical and realistic that I was well aware of the fact that my "A" race was occurring in 5 days (15 hrs, 54 mins and 14 secs), but I wasn't.

And that has been what my week has been like so far. A series of "OMG! THIS is happening."
Shopping for race. Dropping off my bike. Packing for race. Just a bunch of little steps forward. And everyone feels like I am taking a little step closer to a ledge.
About to get on a plane - THIS is happening.
Driving from Spokane to Coeur d'Alene (gorgeous!) - THIS is happening.
I did some thinking on the plane and on the drive as to why I was having these anxious feelings and what I needed to do to get over them. So, I got to CDA and off I went... the swim beach.
Swim course, Lake Coeur d'Alene  - THIS is happening.
Fear 1: cold cold cold water.
Those of you who know IM courses know that IMCDA is known for its cold water. Add to that, that last year was EXTREMELY cold and I have an acquaintance who was pulled from the water (and another one who was pulled the year before from IMAZ) - and I was scared. In fact, the coldness of the water may have been one of my ultimate fears about this race. Not when I signed up, but as I learned about it, the fear grew. And grew. And grew.

In I went and... it wasn't so bad. I can do this! I thought. And it felt (dare I say?) good. 40 minute swim and cold water anxiety was put to rest 

wetsuit + booties + 2 neoprene caps + latex cap = 1 warm(ish) swimmer
Fear 1 subsided.

Fear 2: the bike course
This year they changed the bike course to include a lot more climbing than the previous course. Not that I knew what the previous course was like... but it went from "hilly" to "climby" and that was a little daunting. So, off it was to recon the course by car.
Is THIS really happening? Oh wait, that is Tyler and Beth - of course it is happening.

And it was BEAUTIFUL! and it didn't look so bad, but I wasn't fully at rest with the course. (In the past, I have also learned pretty = hard.)

So this morning it was off on my bike with Cory and Beth to see how it really felt.
Off we go..... to conquer the climbs
I know - this is the downhill. Keep in mind that we have to climb this coming back/out.
My favorite parts are the views!
Going down - unfortunately, we will also have to go up!
 AND, I will say, the climbs were hard, but not nearly as bad as I thought. (and still beautiful!)

So... Fear 2 subsided!

So here I am. A few days out. I am feeling more confident and not internally freaking out about the impending race. In fact, instead of inching towards a ledge, I feel like I climbing up to it, ready to jump. And with the fears subsided, I am having a pretty good time in Idaho.
My new Idaho-an friend.
Cheers from Lake Coeur d'Alene

 THIS. Is. Happening.
And I can't wait!